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BBC iPlayer sees strong performances in the first six months of the year build on huge growth last year.

Programmes were streamed over 3.3 billion times between January and June this year, up 8% on the same period last year, and up a massive 59% on the same period in 2019 following huge growth in early 2020.

So far, 2021 on iPlayer has seen:

  • Police corruption thriller Line Of Duty’s return become the biggest single episode of the year, as the first episode of the sixth series was streamed 8.7 million times - also more than any single episode across the whole of last year.

  • Viewers have also raced through the previous five series, with the show streamed a total of 127 million times in the first six months of the year.

  • Line of Duty is now the second most popular programme of the year behind only EastEnders, which is enjoying its best year ever on iPlayer with 140 million streams in the first half of the year.

The most popular episodes per series on iPlayer between January and June 2021 are:

  1. Line Of Duty (S6E1) - 8,745,000

  2. The Serpent (E1) - 6,092,000

  3. Time (E1) - 5,572,000

  4. Line Of Duty (S1E1) - 5,190,000

  5. Euro2020 (Eng V Ger) - 5,113,000

  6. Bloodlands (S1E1) - 4,638,000

  7. The Pact (E1) - 4,201,000

  8. Traces (E1) - 4,078,000

  9. Line Of Duty (S2E1) - 3,541,000

  10. A Perfect Planet (E1) - 3,484,000

Dan McGolpin, Director, BBC iPlayer and channels, says: “There’s been a step-change in the popularity of BBC iPlayer over the last two years and during the first half of 2021 we’ve seen further growth including some incredible numbers for Line of Duty, the best half-year on record for EastEnders and a spectacular performance for Euro 2020. It’s also fantastic to see so many brand-new series attracting large audiences with The Serpent, Time, Bloodlands, The Pact and A Perfect Planet all featuring episodes in the iPlayer top ten.”


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